ETS scholarship winners advise how to learn English
Kang Jae-wonBy Chung Hyun-chae
Two of 24 students who won scholarships from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in September, recently offered tips on how to study English more effectively, especially those preparing for proficiency tests in the language.
Kang Jae-won, 22, a junior at the University of Seoul, and Park Min-hae, 24, a senior at Dong-Eui University, provided their insights on how best to learn English as a second language.
"I never neglected even one part of English ― reading, listening, writing, speaking and vocabulary ― since my schooldays," Kang said.
He said he has made the best of the habits and interests he had.
"For example, I used to keep a diary whenever I had a hard time, in English cursive script, so that nobody could recognize what I wrote," he said.
He believed it improved his writing ability.
As for listening, he tried to accurately pronounce any words he came across that were new to him.
"I became interested in pronunciation owing to video games in which all the characters had English names. I wanted to know their names and started to study English phonetic symbols," Kang said.
He also studied hard to get high scores on English examinations. He made vocabulary notebooks and jotted down difficult words so he could repeat them.
Park also put a lot of effort into memorizing as many words as she could.
"If I memorized 10 words yesterday and 10 more today, I could brush up on 20 words. This way of learning English helped me improve my TOEIC scores, especially the reading part," she explained.
As for speaking, she said studying in Canada helped her a lot.
"Studying abroad does not mean you learn another language magically. I tried hard to express myself in English by practicing English with my host family. I took part in almost all activities with foreign friends as well," Park said.
She also enjoys watching American dramas whenever she has free time. It is part of her effort to be exposed to the English language.
What made her focus on studying English was her sincerity. Park was selected as an ETS scholarship recipient based on her high TOEIC scores as well as her perfect school records.
"Speaking English is crucial for living in the global village. Being good at English makes one's life more convenient," Park said.
Since its foundation as a nonprofit organization in 1947, the ETS has developed and administered English tests, including TOEFL and TOEIC tests, throughout the world.
The ETS TOEFL launched scholarship called "2014 Love Giving Scholarship (ETS TOEFL)" with the Korean Student Aid Foundation (KOSAF) last month.
The two organizations provided a total of 72 million won ($69,198) in scholarship to 24 Korean undergraduate and graduate students, as part of corporate social responsibility.